It has been several months since I posted about quilting. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been sewing, just that I have been working on some time-consuming projects.
One of the projects I am working on is another scrap quilt, this one made with various types of long cabin blocks set into diamond shapes. The quilt idea was rather easy to design in EQ8, but has proven very tricky to actually sew.
The idea behind the quilt was to make an asymmetrical starburst with half of the star on one side of the quilt and overlapping bands of off white making up the other half of the quilt. The color scheme incorporated the transitioning through the colors of the rainbow for the starburst.
The log cabin blocks are completed. There are four red/orange blocks, eight yellow/green blocks, twelve blue purple blocks and twelve cream blocks.
Three of these were not too difficult. But, the blue and purple blocks were rather challenging with the corner inserts on each side. This block is also called a Pineapple block, which I have done before in a square form in a Christmas Bed runner. In the square form, this block just takes a bit more time than a traditional log cabin block. However, in the diamond form I found this to be very tricky. Each block had 45 pieces, and I needed to make twelve of them.
I like how the color transitions turned out. Now on to piecing the quilt blocks together.
Last year, one of the awards I received from the Minnesota State Fair included a gift certificate to Bear Patch Quilting in White Bear Lake. So, last fall I drove up to the store to see what to spend my certificate on. I had some ideas of fabric I wanted, however, when going through the shop I was unable to find anything matching my ideas. Not wanting to drive up there again on another day, I looked around and found some fabric that I liked. Without any plans for what I was going to make, I purchased two yards of the black fabric and took it home.
Several months later, when looking at some fused glass ideas, I came across a plate that I really liked. And, upon thinking about it, I realized it would make a nice quilt pattern as well. So, I went to my computer and came up with an idea for a quilt to make using the fabric. Using the colors of the black swirled fabric, I designed the quilt to have graduated colorings in the strips. When designing, I didn’t like the blunt ends of the triangles and decided to angle them. I also decided to make the triangles overlap.
When I went through the fabrics in my stash, I was happy to find that I had enough of each of the colors I selected that I only needed to purchase the black fabric needed.
This summer, I finally pulled out these fabrics and started working on my idea. Finishing it in time for the state fair, I decided to enter it and received a third place ribbon.
While the quilt was on display at the fair, I made some things to go with the quilt.
Sometimes ads come up on my Facebook news feed that catch my attention. That happened recently with some fabrics. The offer was for pack of 5″ charm square, 102 pieces in all. The colors looked so nice and the price was excellent. So, I purchased a set. I had no idea what I was going to make with them, and I certainly didn’t need any more fabric. But, they were just too pretty to pass up.
Once they arrived, I started thinking about the many quilt patterns that I want to try. Since the pack was small 5″ squares, I knew that I couldn’t do anything really fancy with them. So, I decided to try some “split block” ideas.
Split block techniques involve sewing squares of fabric together, either jelly rolls, 5″ charms or other sizes, and then cutting them along different lines and/or angles to make new blocks.
The first idea I tried was an Interrupted Four Patch. This pattern involves sewing the charm squares alternately with a background fabric.
The sewn piece is then cut into strips 1/3 and 2/3 of the size of the blocks. A contrasting fabric strip is then sewn between each horizontally cut strip. This is repeated with vertical strips, borders added and the quilting completed.
The next idea I tried was the “Twister”. This pattern also involved sewing the charm squares together alternating with a background fabric.
Then the sewn piece is cut at an angle with a template, twisted to make pinwheels, and sewn together.
There are templates in a variety of sizes available for this quilt pattern. But, I really don’t need more templates, so I just drew temporary lines on my 4″ square template and used that.
For this quilt, I did not have enough fabric to make as many pinwheels as I needed. So, I decided to add pinwheels with quilting. Kinda a fun way to continue the pattern to a larger size.
It’s April, the birds are singing outside my window, the bulbs are coming up in my gardens and the grass is starting to get green. So, it’s time to change the decor in my bedroom – a new Daisy Bed runner really added some springtime color.
To make this bedrunner, I used the leftover blue fabric from the backing of my butterfly quilt as the main background. To supplement the blue, I took out some of my custom dyed fabric samples, generally ones that were trials on different dyeing techniques. For added color, I decided to try out some fabric paint crayons.
A few years ago, I took a class on Shiva Paintsticks and Rubbing Plates. I enjoyed the class and purchased some supplies. However, time being in short supply, I really hadn’t used them since completing the class.
This project, I thought would be a good use of the paintsticks to embellish the fabrics that I had in my collection. After a day of painting, I set the fabrics aside for a week to allow the oils in the dye crayons to dry. The dye pigment was then heat set by ironing the fabric between pieces of brown paper (absorbs the excess oils very nicely). The resulting fabrics were really interesting.
Triangles were cut out of the fabrics and the border was then made by alternating triangles of blue and color.
To enhance the bedrunner, daisies and leaves were appliqued onto the center panel. The runner was quilted and the binding added.
As promised, I took some pictures of my quilt. This is a twin sized quilt. The scalloped edge along the stitched circles marks the edge of the mattress. So, when on a bed, the view of the ball pit and the bounce line will be very visible. The border spaced balls will fall on the overhanging quilt border.
Because the background is dark, it is hard to get a good photo that shows the stitching. However, I used a light tan for the backing. Flip over the quilt, and the stitching is very visible. After finishing the long-arm quilting, I felt that the stitched balls were getting lost in the background and hard to see. So I added a decorative stitch edging to these stitched circles. I think it really helps make the circles stand out more both on the front, but especially on the back, of the quilt.
This quilt was a lot of fun to make. Certainly the most stitch edged applique that I have ever done. I have so many other ideas for quilts to make. Time to get sewing again!
Today is National Quilting Day. And, how did I spend my day – quilting, of course!
I was actually able to finish a quilt that I started a few weeks ago. The lighting at the time I finished binding the quilt was not adequate to take good photos. So, I will post the finished photos tomorrow after I am able to take some nicer photos.
However, I did take photos along the way as I worked on this quilt.
I have named the quilt “Bounce”. The idea was inspired by the vinyl upholstery fabric on the chairs in the staff lounge at Children’s Hospital Surgery Center.
A little over a year ago, we were also considering this fabric for our office remodel. When I brought a sample of the vinyl to show our staff, one person commented that it looked like a quilt pattern.
Ultimately we selected a different fabric. But, the idea of making a quilt stuck in my mind. A design was created that took the circles of the fabric and replicated them in an applique pattern that looked like balls bouncing in a ball pit.
This winter, I was able to start working on the quilt. This has been a really fun quilt to make!
Using scraps from previous quilts, I first cut out 124 circles measuring 3.25″.
These circles were then appliqued onto white cotton fabric using my collection of Gutermann thread (50wt).
From the appliqued fabric, I then drew and cut circles that overlapped the appliqued circles so that the resulting pieces looked like balls. This double applique approach really made this quilt easier to applique than it appears to be. Basically I was only having to stitch circles each time, rather than partial circles.
For the background of the quilt, I kept debating between tan and sky blue. Then, one day, while looking for backing for another quilt, I found some fabric that looked like denim and thought that would be a nice background.